The Life Of Sgt. Robert Bales

1609 WordsNov 13, 20157 Pages
March 11, 2012, Staff Sergeant Robert Bales found himself committing the worst war crime in American history. Under the cover of darkness, Bales meticulously infiltrated Panjwai, Kandahar, and callously mutilated and murdered non combative Afghan citizens. Bales killed a total of 16, and wounded 6. Of the 16 victims, 9 were children, 4 were women, and 3 were men. Bales spared very few during his rampage, only sparing two or three citizens. After committing the murders, Robert Bales walked back to base where he was swiftly taken into custody. The life of Sgt. Robert Bales starts as one of five boys who grew up in a modest suburban home in Cincinnati. Bales was described as sociable, talkative, and outgoing, swiftly becoming a favorite of…show more content…
However, if there were any early indicators that Robert Bales was to commit the atrocities in Kandahar it would be extremely difficult to find them here in his early life. He would almost certainly be classified as a spree killer, but he does not have the characteristics normally associated with most other killers of that kind. He had no history of arson, animal torture, antisocial behavior, a poor family life, or any known child abuse that spree killers are normally associated with. Although there is an admittedly minuscule amount of information on the Sergeants personal life, the information that is out there does help to shed some light on the changes in his personality during the war. There are many theories about what exactly made the normal soldier commit murder. At the time of the crime, Bales was dealing with a mix of many clinical risk factors such as, PTSD and TBI, depression, and substance abuse use. Bales was officially treated for PTSD after he complained about headaches due to traumatic brain injury. According to documents received and published from Bales ‘clemency letter, “The TBI doctor made me take a PTSD survey and all the questions on the survey fit my symptoms” (Bales as cited in Ashton, 2014, p. 2). Bales also states, “At the time, I didn’t put too much faith into PTSD as an actual illness, but I wanted the TBI doctor to treat my headaches” (Bales as cited in Ashton, 2014, p. 2). Bales may not have believed in PTSD, but that does not dispute
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